Moduplay_Blog-Best_Soft-fall-Surface

What is the best soft-fall surface?


The definition of effective soft-fall is “an impact absorbing medium that slows the falling child down over the greatest possible distance”

That means the child is decelerating as slowly as possible – which reduces the shock of the fall. However, there is no such thing as the perfect soft-fall material for every situation.

Whilst mulch materials (such as pine bark chips) are generally the softest, it needs a lot of maintenance in order to keep its integrity. Synthetic materials such as Rubber Surfacing are great for areas that would otherwise require high maintenance but the static nature of the rubber doesn’t have the “give” of a loose fill product.

So when you’re considering which soft-fall is best for your playground, you need to think about:

  1. Softness – What is the softest option you can use given the location?
  2. The environmental impact – Is the product an environmentally responsible choice?
  3. Cost – Does your budget fit the product maintenance?
  4. Design Opportunities – Do you want to include shapes, colours or designs in the surface to enhance the play area?
  5. Ease of Maintenance –  Do you have a maintenance plan?

 

SYNTHETIC GRASS

  • Made from: Polyethylene fibres
  • Softness: Good
  • Maintenance required: Medium
  • Environmental impact: Medium
  • Availability: Good
  • Initial cost: Medium – High

 

Note: A softer “leaf” than tufted synthetic turf

 


PLAYGROUND SAND

  • Made from: Washed, filtered beach sand
  • Softness: Good if maintained
  • Maintenance required: Medium
  • Environmental impact: Low
  • Availability: Fair
  • Initial cost: Low – Medium

 

Note: Only available from specialist suppliers

 


PINE BARK CHIP

  • Made from: Waste from plantation pine industry
  • Softness: Excellent if maintained
  • Maintenance required: Medium
  • Environmental impact: Low
  • Availability: Fair
  • Initial cost: Low – Medium

 

Note: Comes in several different variations

 


RUBBER SOFT-FALL (Recycled) + Oxide Colour

  • Made from: Recycled tyres
  • Softness: Good
  • Maintenance required: Medium
  • Environmental impact: Positive recycled product
  • Availability: Good
  • Initial cost: Medium

 

Note: Lowest cost, but colours can “patch”

 


RUBBER SOFT-FALL (Recycled) + UV Paint

  • Made from: Recycled tyres
  • Softness: Good
  • Maintenance required: Low
  • Environmental impact: Positive recycled product
  • Availability: Good
  • Initial cost: High

 

Note: UV paint holds colour

 


RUBBER SOFT-FALL EPDM

  • Made from: Man-made rubberised plastic
  • Softness: Good
  • Maintenance required: Low
  • Environmental impact: High
  • Availability: Good
  • Initial cost: Highest

 

Note: Best vibrancy of colour

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